China’s former president and party chief Jiang Zemin is said to have reflected on the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China during a rare public appearance in Beijing on October 3. Jiang, 88, made the visit to the National Museum of China, the national museum’s official website reported on November 17. He was accompanied by a group of current and retired officials including former vice-premier Li Lanqing, incumbent vice-premier Liu Yandong, current public security minister Guo Shengkun and and Jiang’s former bodyguard You Xigui. Jiang visited several exhibitions at the museum and also left an inscription that read, “Building a world-class national museum”. The former president stopped at the museum’s west hall to look at a large-scale relief, which museum director Lu Zhangshen said represented the great determination and courage of the Chinese people. Jiang then visited the museum’s central hall featuring modern classic art. According to the museum, Jiang reflected on Hong Kong’s 1997 return to Chinese rule after stopping to look at a large-sized oil painting showing the handover ceremony. Jiang’s previous last public appearance was on September 29, when he was shown sitting next to President Xi Jinping and Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People’s Congress, as he smiled to mark the approach of China’s National Day on October 1, in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Jiang left his position as party chief in 2002, as president in 2003, and as central military chief in 2005. He managed to retain immense political clout despite his retirement, during his successor Hu Jintao’s years as president. However, his influence is said to have been challenged by the current leader, Xi, who has waged a tenacious anti-corruption campaign, which has caught officials including Zhou Yongkan, the former security chief, and Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of the military, both of whom were Jiang’s protégés.